13 September 2010

It's the only language they understand

Our East of England correspondent has sent us this picture he snapped on a ride near Ely over the weekend. It instructs road users to drive and cycle on the left, not just in English but also, helpfully, in Spanish.

Here are a few similar signs we'd like to see in London. (We accept no responsibility for clumsy Babelfish translations.)

Japanese Biggu Ben no shashin o toru to, watashi no mae ni doori ni tachanaide kudasai. When having your photo taken in front of Big Ben, please don't step out backwards into the road in front of me.

Russian Если вы сидите рядом с пивом канала выпивая, то пожалуйста дайте мне комнату задействовать в прошлом If you are sitting next to a canal drinking beer, please give me room to cycle past.

Italian Cammini prego sulla pavimentazione, non sulla pista ciclabile. Particolarmente quando siete un gruppo di 24. Please walk on the pavement, not on the cycle path. Especially when you are a group of 24.

Dutch Ja, weten wij onze het fietser faciliteiten shit zijn. Geen behoefte houden vertellend ons. Yes, we know our cycling facilities are rubbish. No need to keep going on about it.


  1. And of course the now famous Welsh Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch unrhyw waith i'w gyfieithu. I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated

  2. I've always wondered why the Spanish use the Basque-derived word for 'left', 'izquierda', rather than the Latin 'sinistra'. ('Right', or 'derecha', comes from Latin, as you'd expect.) Anybody know?

  3. But why Spanish 2.5 miles from Ely? Unless it's aimed at Latino servicemen from the US airbases in that general area. What's really needed is signs in Polish saying If you drive totally pissed into that bit of water alongside the road you will die.

  4. @Tim: The sign is here. It's a few yards north of "G's Hostel", a hostel for migrant agricultural workers employed by the Guy Shropshire farming business. NCR 11 runs right past it. I've seen a Polish flag flying there in the past.